"People of the Books" Blog

Member Spotlight with Esther van Haaren-Hart

Our Member of the Month is Esther van Haaren-Hart of Curaçao.

Amalia Warshenbrot and Esther van Haaren-Hart

Amalia Warshenbrot and Esther van Haaren-Hart, 2017.

Esther van Haaren-Hart is the librarian and general manager of the Foundation at the Maduro Library and Museum housed in the plantation house at Rooi Catootje in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean.

The foundation is named after Salomon Abraham (Mongui) Levy Maduro (1891-1967) who started collecting documents, books, manuscripts, archivalia and periodicals relating to Curaçao, the Dutch West Indies and his Sephardic Jewish community which goes back to the 17th century. One of the goals of the foundation is to preserve historical collections on subjects of Sephardic Jewish and Dutch Caribbean interest for future research.

The library collection consists of more than 10,000 books, 450 documentation files by subject, containing newspaper clippings and more than one thousand Antillean and Jewish periodicals, collected over a period of more than 100 years. Due to the growth of the collection, the library collection was moved to a state of the art new building, the Ena Dankmeijer-Maduro Pavilion, in 2010. Throughout the years, a wide variety of writers, historians, elementary school students and researchers have consulted the library collection. The library cooperates closely with other academic libraries, both in Curaçao and abroad.

Mrs. van Haaren-Hart is a mother of three and grandmother of one.  She attended the 2017 AJL conference, commenting:

“I enjoyed this well organized 52nd conference. There was a great variety in themes, the sessions were well planned and well prepared by the speakers. Networking with participants of so many countries and places in the USA was one of the highlights of the conference. I was very pleased to meet some old library friends and to make new ones. In general I consider the information about digitized materials, many of them online available, as another highlight of the conference.”

Esther plans to continue to communicate with AJL in the future to exchange ideas and information on a global scale and to be able to access information through application of advanced technologies

Esther welcomes AJL members and friends to visit her library’s website at www.madurolibrary.org to get acquainted with the library and the museum collection. Esther encourages all to visit the island and the facilities in person, like so many Jewish groups have done in the past and are still doing.

Webinar redux with discount!

We forgot to let you know that any AJL member in good standing is eligible for a 10% discount on any/all of the AJL/ALA webinars coming up.  Contact Sharon Benamou or Nancy Sack to get the discount code.

AJL/ALA Webinars

As you may know, AJL partnered with ALA last year to deliver a series of webinars. ALA/AJL Cataloging Sacred texts webinarThe first three webinars, to be held November 16, December 14, and mid-January, cover collection development and cataloging of Judaica resources for non-specialist librarians. The webinars are aimed primarily at librarians in school, public, and academic libraries whose responsibilities include collection development and cataloging of Judaica but who are not subject specialists. The webinars may also offer some tips and tricks to subject specialists who are new to the field of librarianship.
AJL/ALA webinar collection development
Registration is now open for the first 90-minute workshop, which will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, starting at 2:30 pm Eastern time. For more information please contact Sharon Benamou or Nancy Sack.

Judaica Reference award winner 2016

The Association of Jewish Libraries Announces the 2016 Judaica Reference and Bibliography Award Winners

The Association of Jewish Libraries encourages the publication of outstanding works of Judaica reference and bibliography through its annual awards. We are pleased to announce that the Judaica Reference award winner for titles published in 2016 was given to Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary (based on the lexical research of Mordkhe Schaechter) edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, Paul Glasser (editors in chief) and  Chava Lapin (associate editor), published by the Indiana University Press, 2016.

Cover of Comprehensive English-Yiddish DictionaryThis dictionary is a most valuable comprehensive reference tool for a major Jewish language. It brings Yiddish to the 21st century, emphasizing Yiddish as a living language that is spoken in many places around the world. It has substantially more entries than previous standard Yiddish dictionaries with close to 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries. The richness of dialect differences and historical developments are noted in words and expressions, phrases and sayings that can be found in classic and contemporary literature, newspapers, and other sources of the written word and have long been used by professionals and tradesmen, in synagogues, at home, in intimate life, and wherever Yiddish-speaking Jews have lived and worked. It fills in huge numbers of gaps in the older volumes, adds up-to-date terminology, and gives more accurate and much more complete translations. Thus, even though it is geared to the present and future it does not neglect traditional Jewish content.  AJL Reference Award Committee members expressed their admiration for this work, describing it as a monumental achievement, a product of many years of intensive research, with a clear introduction, bibliography guidelines, tables, and abbreviations.  It is useful not only for those who want to express themselves in Yiddish, but also for those who are translating from Yiddish into English and want to explore the nuances of different Yiddish words by looking up the corresponding English entries. The award committee agreed that this work is a must for anyone who has anything to do with Yiddish or with translation in either direction.

 

 

2017 Conference Schedule

The national committee is thrilled to present this year's conference schedule. As you can see it is jam packed with sessions for RAS and SSC members as well as for libraries and bibliophiles of all sorts. See the upcoming conference page for more information.